Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Road - A Recommended Read Before it's Film Release Later this Year

I've wanted to for awhile, but only recently got my hands on 2007's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Road, written by Cormac McCarthy (who written other notable books including No Country for Old Men and All the Pretty Horses).

The Road is one of the many books to have film adaptation coming out in 2009. With the popularity and many accolades this book has received (invluding the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Oprah Book club book, National Book Critics Circle finalist) I really wanted to read this book before I saw the Joe Hillcoat film adaptation.

In fact, in reading this book, I'm very curious how the film adaptation will turn out.

I've read a few summary's of this book and most critics refer to it as a post-apocalyptic story. Whether it's post-apocalyptic or not, I feel like McCarthy leaves up for the readers, but the story begins years following some sort of world catastrophe that leaves the world basically destroyed and full of death.

The story follows two characters, simply, the man and the boy, who happen to be father and son, wandering the road for sheer survival looking for food and shelter, and fleeing harm.

What I liked about this book is that it isolates the father and son relationship, and tells a unique story, of a father who's anything but weak, but for the sake of his son is also gentle and caring within the ability of his masculine character. The way in which the man passes on wisdom, instruction, and skills to his son is really powerful.

This story is about a lot of things, and goes far beyond just being a narrative, and in fact, I feel like Cormac McCarthy spends much of his time creating this post-disaster world. And while I have a picture of this world in my own head of this gray-desolate-death filled world, I imagine that my mental picture easily could differ from others.

The transition of this story to film will certainly impact the way that people read and picture what is shown in this book, especially if this film is met with any sort of popular response.

It is largely because of these unique characteristics that I'm really glad that I read The Road, and would highly recommend it as a pre-reading assignment prior to this films release later this year.

As I side note, this book's style and nameless characters reminded me of one of my favorite books, one I would highly recommend called I Am the Clay by Chaim Potok. Potok's book uses the same devices of an unnamed small cast of characters (the man, the woman, and the boy), and although takes place during the Korean war, still has that same gray-stark setting. Also a recommended read.


Anthony said...

I just added "The Road" to my library hold list. I always enjoy your recommendations.

elgringo said...

My wife loves this book. I plan to love it soon. Right after I finish the Malcolm X autobiography and the third Diary of a Wimpy Kid book,, it's Cormac time for me.

superdave524 said...

I read The Road. Can't say I enjoyed it, but I couldn't stop reading it, so maybe I did. I saw it as a current story/metaphor for people who don't think there is any deeper meaning to life beyond mere, harsh existence.

superdave524 said...

(and I enjoyed your take on it).

Anthony said...

I finished the book last night. I couldn't stop reading it, and didn't want it to end.

Thanks for being my Oprah. I wouldn't know what to read if it wasn't for you.